Hairpin plasmid--a novel linear DNA of perfect hairpin structure.

Yo Kikuchi*, K. Hirai, N. Gunge, F. Hishinuma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The terminal structures of deletion derivatives of linear DNA killer plasmid from yeast were analyzed. The yeast Kluyveromyces lactis harbors two unique double-stranded linear DNA killer plasmids, pGKL1 of 8.9 kb and pGKL2 of 13.4 kb. The killer toxin and the resistance to the killer are coded by pGKL1, while pGKL2 is required for the maintenance of pGKL1 in the cell. When the pGKL plasmids from K. lactis were transferred into Saccharomyces cerevisiae by transformation, non-killer transformants harboring pGKL2 and new plasmids, F1 of 7.8 kb and F2 of 3.9 kb, were obtained. F2 was shown to be a linear DNA arising from a 5-kb deletion of the right part of pGKL1. F1 was an inverted dimer of F2. Here we show that F2 has two different terminal structures: one end has a protein attached at the 5' terminus whereas the two strands of duplex are linked together at the other end, thus forming a hairpin structure. This is a novel type of autonomously replicating DNA molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1886
Number of pages6
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1985 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics


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